Old Dutch History

and the future of adventurers with a passion

Glistening stills and a monumental building where the illustrious history of generations of genever distillers is carved into the facade. With a sip and as time progresses, the story only becomes more beautiful. It truly is a success story, but it all started a little less grand than described above.

Herman de Jong – Old Dutch – began distilling Vodka and Genever behind an old mill, in a still he lovingly restored. That’s where the roots of Old Dutch Distillers lie. Starting small, in a drafty shed in Rotterdam. Without capital and without airs, but with the firm conviction that anything you put your heart and soul into is so much better, more beautiful, and tastier than standard spirits. You can taste that passion of the early days in all of Old Dutch Distillers’ products.

Born and raised in Rotterdam

Herman de Jong – Old Dutch – was born in 1848 in the port city of Rotterdam. His father was a skipper, and a “oorlam” (genever mixed with a lot of water) was part of his daily bread, although he preferred to skip the water. That wasn’t strange, as genever was purer and cleaner than water, so Herman was allowed to have a sip regularly.

Herman followed in his father’s footsteps at a young age and also went to sea. Among other things, he transported drinks from distilleries, and as the saying goes, if you sail apples, you eat apples, and in this case, Herman tasted richly. He stored and combined those taste sensations and preferences for later use in his own distillates.

He started experimenting with local ingredients and surprising additions in the rickety shed behind the mill. Initially out of interest in what else was possible, what could be different, better, for fun and for personal use. This is where the foundation for Old Dutch Distillers was laid.

Old Dutch? That’s what Herman was called in faraway lands when he broadened his horizons and sailed the world’s seas.

Taste, taste, taste, and then…

The first years not every distillate was successful, but over time he had some recipes – his own distillates with spices and herbs – that stood out from the barely consumable throat lubricant supplied by the renowned distilleries. If you really wanted something tasty, you went to Old Dutch.

As a skipper, he had a large reach, and he introduced Rotterdam to Old Dutch Genever, and he exchanged and sold his bottles on other continents as well. “There was no plan behind it,” says Eric Post, who, together with his father Jan, continues to build on the foundation laid by their determined ancestor in 1888. “Herman de Jong just wanted to make a beautiful product and enjoy life. In fact, that applies to us too, although we do have a bit more ambition when it comes to market share because this is too beautiful not to share with the rest of the world.”

Vodka & Genever, clear language

Let’s look back one more time. Herman distilled illegally for family, friends, and personal use. That’s not how it should be, but it was in line with the spirit of the times. When a Rotterdam liquor store asked him if they could sell Old Dutch, things got a lot more serious.

The Vodka was eagerly sought after because of the, especially for that time, unprecedented taste experience. The subtly added black pepper and lemon distillate ensured a soft finish, and Herman could hardly keep up with demand, so he invested in an extra still.

Old Dutch Genever also stands out in terms of taste from the rest due to the carefully balanced additions. Cardamom is an herbaceous plant from the ginger family and was not readily available here in cold Netherlands in the 19th century. But Herman used it in his distillate and surprised everyone. Due to long aging in barrels, Old Dutch Genever is even fuller in flavor, unique in its kind, and a must for the genever drinker who is done with young genever and is looking for true love.

Rum & Gin

Genever and Vodka came from our own still, but during his voyages abroad, he came across other beautiful products. He claimed to have drunk the best rum ever in Barbados. He asked the bartender for the address of the distillery and exchanged a few bottles of Old Dutch Genever for some bottles of white rum. That was well received in the Netherlands, and since then, Herman has been importing more and more white rum. At Herman’s request, the rum producer aged Old Dutch Dark Rum in barrels, and that is still done in the same way today.

Over a hundred years later, Jan and Eric Post selected a gin in more or less the same way – after an extensive tasting session lasting several days – in which you can taste the master’s touch. “According to an ancient recipe and refined based on our contemporary taste preferences.” The groundbreaking, unparalleled Old Dutch Gin has been exported to all corners of the world by us since then.

The carefully curated assortment of Old Dutch Distillers has a few important similarities. “Top quality for a fair price, a unique taste experience with a soft finish, and bottled in the beautiful bottle that is so characteristic of Old Dutch.”


Briskly forward

Herman ‘Old Dutch’ de Jong stopped breathing in 1903, and with that, it seemed that the brand would disappear. The competition was fierce, and no one took over from this free spirit. Even years after his death, many Rotterdammers drank Old Dutch, because bottles survive time, and there are even photos of Old Dutch drinkers during the Prohibition in the 1930s.

But something so beautiful should not be lost just like that, Jan and Eric Post judged. In 2015, they enthusiastically started to put the quality product of yesteryear on the market according to the original recipe. The stills were fired up again, the ties with the rum and gin producers were tightened, and since 2016, Old Dutch Distillers has been forging ahead as before. “And products are being added, such as luxury gift sets. We export to all countries in the world, but the focus is currently on the Dutch market. Here are our roots, and from here, we will conquer the rest of the world.” With pride, father and son continue in the spirit of Herman ‘Old Dutch’ de Jong.